Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is being adapted for the stage, with a view to open its doors to the Japanese public in February 2022.
The show will be written, produced, and directed by Tony and Olivier Award winner, John Caird. The Japanese entertainment giant Toho, who also distributed the 2001 film, are behind the project.
Spirited Away, produced by the Japanese animation group Studio Ghibli and directed by Miyazaki, centres around the 10-year-old Chihiro. While moving house with her parents, Chihiro finds herself stuck in the mysterious Spirit World and has to use all of her wits to escape.
The film topped the Japanese box office for 19 years, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest animated films ever made. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Film at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003.
Spirited Away is not the first Studio Ghibli production to have been re-imagined for the stage. Previous adaptations include Princess Mononoke in 2013, and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in 2020.
The title character is set to be played by both Mone Kamishiraishi, known as the voice of Mitsuha Miyamizu in Your Name (2016), and Kanna Hashimoto, who will be making her theatre debut.
The run is set to last until July, beginning at Tokyo’s Imperial Theatre, then moving to Osaka in April, Fukuoka in May, visiting Sapporo in June, and ending in Nagoya. It is hoped that the production will then make its way to other parts of the world.
Words by Eli London.
Support The Indiependent
We’re trying to raise £200 a month to help cover our operational costs. This includes our ‘Writer of the Month’ awards, where we recognise the amazing work produced by our contributor team. If you’ve enjoyed reading our site, we’d really appreciate it if you could donate to The Indiependent. Whether you can give £1 or £10, you’d be making a huge difference to our small team.
Image: © Studio Ghibli